Ask a Disney Question: Is It Possible to Meet Every Character?
This question comes from Jason, who asks: “We are going on vacation this summer with our two boys and they really love Up and Cars. What characters are available to meet and greet while at Walt Disney World?”
Jeremy, thanks for your question and for reading the site. There’s something about meeting characters in the parks that makes even the most jaded grown-up smile. Sure, we know it’s really a cast member in a costume, but for that brief moment, you really are meeting Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Nothing beats seeing your children meet their heroes, so by all means, make time for character meet and greets; they make great photo opportunities.
Having said that, it’s probably impossible to meet every character on your trip. Given the large number of opportunities available, it would simply be too time-consuming, and particularly with young children, scheduling activities around meet and greets may be frustrating. Also, not all the main characters are available during a given time. In our last trip in December, for example, we didn’t see Belle in her yellow dress the entire week. Fortunately, there are a few ways to maximize your meet and greet opportunities in each park. Here are a few tips:
- Do a character meal. The characters visit every table and the interaction with them usually lasts longer than at a normal meet and greet.
- Meet the Characters in the Parks. Character meets in the Magic Kingdom often have long lines, but some of the same characters are available in other parks with shorter waits. Nearly all the princesses are available in Epcot, for example. You may even see some characters that are not normally in the Magic Kingdom, such as Mulan (in China), Aladdin and Jasmine (in Morocco), and Alice from Alice in Wonderland (in the British Pavilion). You can also meet the Big Five –Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy—in Future World right next to the Fountain of Nations. This is by far the easiest way to meet this group, as they are often all there at once.
- Go to Guest Relations (at the front of each park, usually on the left as you walk in) and ask for the character meet and greet schedule. If you have a specific character in mind and they aren’t on the list, a cast member may even be able to call and find out exactly where and when this character will be available.
- Try a special Event. Some popular characters are notoriously difficult to find. These include Belle in her red holiday dress, Gaston, most of the villains, and the Seven Dwarfs. These characters are sometimes available in the parks, but if you really want to see them in a meet and greet, try going to a special event like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is generally one of the best meet and greet opportunities of the year.
- Before it gets hot! Characters are frequently at the front of the parks right before and during rope drop, so get there early. You’ll find the most characters in Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom and in the Leave a Legacy area at Epcot. This is a good time to meet some of the more obscure or classic characters, like Jiminy Cricket.
- Say Goodbye. Some attractions have meet and greets as you leave the attraction. You’ll frequently see Buzz as you leave Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin in the Magic Kingdom. Catch the rest of the Toy Story characters as you leave Toy Story Midway Mania in Hollywood Studios. Captain Jack Sparrow and crew perform several times a day next to Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom.
If you’d like to read more about meeting characters,has done a great job of writing about character meet and greets. Good luck and have a wonderful vacation.